Roll up, roll up, people! It's gonna be one hell of a show here in the Aussie rainforest… and how can we tell? Because it was last time, and the time before that. World Champs just can't be beat for the spectacle. Chequers or wreckers, all or nothing is the flavour and flaming hot is the style it's always served up, as we get to see true no 'ifs', 'buts' or 'maybes', full-commitment runs from the very best in the World.
Aaron Gwin's on his A-game off the back of the end of season smack-down he dished out for the competition, Greg Minnaar's looking for rainbow revenge, Danny Hart's defending the stripes, Loïc Bruni took it home last year and both Troy Brosnan and Mick Hannah are deadly serious about going for gold on home soil. And then there's single-crown Sam Hill circling in the water like an unpredictable apex predator and who can tell how that's going to play out. The list of threats for the gold is a long and dangerous one, and indeed, you should expect nothing less from this part of the world.
In the women's we have Tahnée Seagrave coming in hot with an end of season three-peat to her name, Myriam Nicole still stoked on riding the white vest to victory, Tracey Hannah about to go balls to the wall in her home town and Rachel Atherton ready to rip out some throats to defend what's hers. For the juniors you have to anticipate another Finn Iles masterclass, but Matt Walker has the minerals to strip him of that last shot at junior gold. Should be good, if we're not very much mistaken.
Conditions-wise the track is looking drier than we've ever known it, already with a generous coating of the 'brown pow' up top. Given time and many hundreds of practice laps the crusty hardpack should break up a good deal further and get that roost flying just the way we like. It's a funny old course and, almost unchanged, it remains a mix of violent gnar, huge high-speed jumps and feeble flat connector sections that lower the tone, but up the ante for anyone looking for the win simply by staying off the brakes. The stoke is high for this one and we can expect the local crowds to pump up the atmosphere to a boil come Sunday for an almighty showdown in the jungle. Let's take a walk...